Juniors Deja Neal and Alison VanVorst, the only Milford High School students selected for Delaware All-State Band, attended the three-day conference late last week. During the weekend of March 7-9, approximately 100 Delaware high school students participated in eight-hour seminars, receiving instruction from a renowned conductor. VanVorst, who earned first chair for French horn, and Neal, who earned a seat for Clarinet, auditioned in January and were chosen to be a part of the talented group.
Both ladies began playing in elementary school, Neal for Caesar Rodney School District and VanVorst Milford School District. They remain dedicated to mastering their instruments even though both of them balance rigorous Honors and Academic Challenge courses, along with other extra-curricular activities such as the school play.
“Between studying for school and learning the repertoire for concert band, there really isn’t a lot of free time involved,” remarked VanVorst, “so finding time for All-State is a little tricky. But I still appreciate the opportunity, and it’s an honor to be first chair.”
Mrs. Christine Smith, the band director at MHS, commended the girls for their hard work and commitment. Responsibility of her own band restricts her availability to work with them, but nevertheless, she knows that “these girls have the drive to be great on their own.”
Neal and VanVorst rehearsed on Thursday and Friday and performed in the annual Delaware All-State Band concert on Saturday, March 9, at Independence School.